A Havelock U.S. Air Force veteran and cancer survivor who gave 20 years of service is now being repaid with a new roof, replacing one that was damaged two years ago by Hurricane Florence.


Construction began on Air Force veteran Barbara Potter’s new roof on Friday morning. Labor was provided by HRH Roofing and funding and materials through Owens Corning’s Roof Deployment Project.


Through a partnership with Purple Heart Homes, Potter was selected and approved to be the recipient for the roof replacement, according to a release from HRH Roofing.


Potter said she worked in personnel while in the service for 20 years and three months before retiring in April of 1994. She said her time serving her country was very positive.


"I loved it. I loved the people, the traveling and learning so much and experiencing so much," she said.


The release also explained Owens Corning’s role in furnishing Potter with the newer roof.


"The Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project is a nationwide effort to show gratitude and honor the veterans who served our country and the families who support them. Since the inception of this program in 2016, more than 190 military members have received new roofs," it stated.


Potter said that she has had numerous surgeries and has also survived cancer. She said she contacted Endeavors, a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit that assists veterans and their families in times of crisis.


"They are the ones that connected me with Purple Heart Homes. I put an application in with them," Potter said.


Purple Heart Homes is a public charitable organization that was founded in 2008 by John Gallina and the late Dale Beatty, two combat-wounded Veterans, according to their website.


The sound of pounding hammers and workmen were audible around Potter’s home and Ras Homes, owner of HRH Roofing said the roof was being put on by hand instead of using nail guns.


He said the older style tar paper that is put down before the shingles is being replaced with a newer style synthetic composite material. He said better roofing nails were being used and the Owens Corning 30-year shingles that were going to be applied were designed to withstand 130 m.p.h. winds.


Potter, who grew up in rural Minnesota had her home built 12 years ago in a quiet area of Havelock that was similar to her childhood home. She said the old roof had been left with leaks after Florence came through.


Homes was more than happy to be a part of helping Potter get her home back in shape.


"I would like the veterans to know that I appreciate what they have done for me. That is the biggest reason we are here. We want to give back to those that gave to us. It is very important to us," Homes said.


Potter watched with excitement as the workers prepared to lay down the new roof that was to be completed later in the day.


"I think it’s wonderful. I still can’t believe it’s happening. People give so much and help others. And when it comes to you yourself, it’s like a miracle," she said.